Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fascinating Article About Children and Self Control: Home school marketplace: Don't Eat That Marshmallow

Don't Eat That Marshmallow! by Ellyn Davis, homes school marketplace, August 19, 2013

In the late 1960s, Walter Mischel, a psychology professor at Columbia University, performed a series of tests on preschoolers referred to as "The Marshmallow Tests."

Mischel "tested" over six hundred 4-year-olds by putting each child in a broom closet-sized room alone with no distractions and only a child-sized table and chair. On the table were a bell and a plastic plate.

Mischel would place a single marshmallow on the plate, and as he did, he made the child an offer: the little boy or girl could either eat one marshmallow right away or could wait while he stepped out for a few minutes, and when he returned he would bring a second marshmallow. But they only got the second marshmallow if they hadn't eaten the first one by the time Mischel re-entered the room. He also told the children that if they rang the bell on the table while he was away, he would come running back and they could eat one marshmallow but would forfeit the second.

Mischel followed these "Marshmallow Kids" for the next 18 years and made some startling discoveries about how our ability to resist a marshmallow as a 4 year old affects us years later.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Another Reason to Homeschool: Catholic Exchange: A Pulpit for Bullies

Image found on Catholic Exchange

On June 19, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in favor of a high school student named Daniel Glowacki, who had charged that his high school teacher, Jay McDowell, had violated his constitutional right to freedom of speech. He was granted one dollar in compensation. The court’s verdict, in vulgar terms, was that the pig had the right to say what he said.
The facts, according to the court’s judgment, are these.

Read the rest at Catholic Exchange 8/19/2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Importance of Reading Aloud by Emiy Cook

The Importance of Reading Aloud by Emily Cook

I cannot stress enough how important reading aloud to your children is. Educationally speaking, it may be one of the most important things you do for them. Most parents can find the time to read a picture book or two with their infants and toddlers. But once a child learns to read, that snuggly read aloud time usually ends. I think it’s actually more important to continue that read aloud time well into their school years.

But my child is fully capable of reading their own books. Why should I read aloud to him?
There are a number of reasons, but here is what I consider the top 5:

5. Reading aloud creates a family bond, especially if there are other siblings listening as well.
Your children will fondly look back on their memories of listening to you read aloud, giggle over how you did “all the voices,” and fondly recall favorites stories heard at your knee. They’ll play games of pretend based on the stories you read to them, imagining themselves in Narnia, adventuring along the Mississippi with Tom Sawyer, or playing with Pooh Bear and Piglet in the Hundred Acre Wood. Just because a book is considered “children’s” literature, doesn’t mean it’s childish. Many of my favorite books are written for children! A good story is a good story, and you will find that you enjoy many great books just as much (if not more!) than the kids. Some of my favorite memories are of reading aloud to my children. I recently finished reading The Hobbit aloud with my twins, and my oldest daughter kept trying to listen in as she did her school work in the other room. I read it aloud to her a few years ago, and it is still one of her all time favorite stories. I can’t wait until my youngest is old enough so I can help her discover Middle Earth and all of its charms.

4. Reading aloud will help to stimulate their imagination.
When you read aloud, you don’t have to choose books at any particular reading level. So while you daughter is just getting comfortable with easy chapter books, you can read books far above her level to her. You can expose them to fantasy worlds full of talking animals, knights and battles, distant countries… the literary world is open to you! Literature is peopled with characters that your children will want to emulate and filled with places they’ll want to pretend. Poetry will fill their minds with beautiful language and spark their own creativity with words and stories.

3. Literature will expose them to difficult ideas and situations in a safe way.
Life is full of hard truths, and what better way to learn of them than from a beautifully written story read to them by someone they love and trust? Charlotte’s Web shows that sometimes, a beloved friend dies, not from any terrible illness or violent act, but simply because it is a part of life. Literature will also build empathy – they’ll put themselves in the characters place, wondering how they would react in the same situation.

2. Reading aloud to your children can increase their vocabulary.
Again, because you aren’t limited to choosing books within their reading level, you can expose them to a world of beautiful language. This will also help build their thinking skills – rather than interrupt the story to ask about a particular word, they’ll be more apt to use context clues to try and figure it out themselves.

1. If you start when they are very young, reading to your children daily will build their attention span.
A child who’s been read to his whole life will be able to concentrate and pay attention to something for far longer than a child who spends all of his time playing video games or watching television.
But most importantly, reading to your children will give them a love of literature. I mourn for the children who grow up thinking Winnie the Pooh is just a brightly colored cartoon character, who never get to meet Charlotte and Wilbur, Sara Crewe, Charlie Bucket and Tom Sawyer. Reading aloud will give them a respect for the written word, introduce them to the wide world and the great conversation and build their cultural literacy. It will give them a legacy of great literature to pass on to their own children.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CA Gov. Signs Transgender Bathroom Bill

Image from AP

Just another reason to homeschool!

Calif. Governor Signs Transgender Bathroom Bill

by Todd Starnes, August 12, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getting Started: Timely Advice, Practical Tips and Helpful Resources: Resource List: Homeschool Connections: Special Needs

Resources for talk given on Getting Started with Special Needs at Homeschool Connections on August 7, 2013. I will be updating periodically.

These resources at the beginning of the list apply to all homeschoolers, but the majority of the resources listed would be good for struggling learners, special needs children, or even children with specific needs.

1) Number one resource we all need to accomplish this huge task before us: Grace. Don't homeschool without it! Prayers, sacraments, and sacramentals are all sources of grace.

2) Find out the legal requirements in your state. Homeschooling requirements vary from state to state. Join your state homeschool organization and/or HSLDA.

3)  mater et magistra magazine is a valuable resource to keep you connected with other Catholic homeschoolers.

4) lists many Catholic homeschool support groups and forums. Some are listed on my blog here, although some may not exist anymore. Homeschool Groups and Forums

5) also lists many Catholic homeschool e-mail loops. You can also do a yahoo search or find groups on Facebook.

6) Catholic Heritage Curricula offers "Mom to Mom" Connections

7) has many reviews of resources.

8) Check out resources in your community, extended family, in the school you are enrolled in (If enrolled), at Catholic homeschool conferences, on the internet and more.

9) A few years ago, I did a talk on technology--especially how it assists special needs kids. If you go to the archives under "Technology" and "New Face of Homeschooling" you will find the info--not all links are listed here: Technology as a Tutor, Technology as a Teaching Tool, Technology as a Source of Information,

10) Vision Therapy

11) Also search under "vendors" in the archives.

10) Check out the library: Our library system that is connected with other libraries has 134 books related to dyslexia, 259 books on ADHD, 202 books on bi-polar.

11)  The Temperament God Gave You by Art and Laraine Bennett

12) Handwriting without Tears

13) Joyce Herzog
Scaredy Cat Reading System, Learning in Spite of Labels, Joyce Herzog's Choosing and Using Curriculum--(especially designed for special needs kids), Timeless Teaching Tips

14) Home Schooling Children with Special Needs by Sharon Hensley
 and many more resources at Almaden Valley Christian 
Sharon also offers consulting services. Her catalog is a great place to start!

15) Mastery Publications

16) Explode the Code

17) All About Spelling

18) All About Reading

19) Large graph paper or turn the paper sideways, color coding, base ten blocks, and other inventive ideas

20) Math-u-see:

21) Diet: Food dyes, food additives, food preservatives, food allergies (wheat, peanuts, corn, soy,       dairy).

22) Callirobics

23) Cathy Duffy Reviews Cathy Duffy

24) Homeschool Reviews

25) History Pockets: History Pockets

26) Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic is now Leaning Ally

27) High Noon Books:

28) Baby Sign Language. We used with our speech delayed nephews, but works well with all children.

29) Audio Books--many sources.

30) How to Teach Your Child to Read and Spell Successfully by Sheldon R. Rappaport

31) Memorize poetry!

32) Touch Math

33) Educational Insights Hot Dots

34) Mathafact--great games for reinforcement.

35) Great explanation of dyslexia: What is dyslexia?

36) Early Childhood Learning Palettes: Math and Reading. This was helpful for a friend's child.
 Learning Wrap-ups

37) Audio Memory:

38)  National Challenged Homeschoolers Association Network

39)  Dianne Craft

40)  Lindamood-Bell

41) Brain Balance Centers, Disconnected Kids: Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and other Neurological Disorders by Dr. Robert Melillo,
and Reconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo

42) Brain,
Brain Gym

43) Learning Rx A friend used this program both for her son who was brain injured and her daughter that was easily distracted.

44)  Red Letter Alphabet Book
Blue Number Counting Book

45)  Catholic Icing Great ideas for those of us who are arts and crafts challenged--in my case the mom and not the kids.

46)  How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities

47) A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine

48) Educators Publishing Service

49) Think Fun

50) For the child who struggles with academics, find something he is good at!

51)  Straight Talk

52)  Mother of Divine Grace School

53) Brainpop

54) Google the disability of your child and apps. or assistive technology and loads of information comes up.

55) There are yahoo groups for just about every type of learning or physical disability

56) Understanding Autism Through Rapid Prompting Method

57)  Driven to Distraction by Dr. Hallowell

58) Growing at Home, Nourishing Your Special Needs Child, The Home School Court Report May/June 2005

59) This cite assists students with studying skills, including those with learning disabilities.  Study Guides and Strategies

60) Catherine Moran.  She has a wealth of experience and knowledge. She has presented on Homeschool Connections and at numerous IHM Conferences. You can find recordings both places. She also has some booklets as pdf files for purchase, especially The Unique Learner--Homeschooling Children with Learning Disabilities and It's All Academic--Homeschooling for Success, as well as others of interest. You can contact her at

61) Smart but Feeling Dumb by Harold N. Levinson, M.D.

62) Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Aspergers, Tourettes, Bipolar and More! The one stop guide for parents, teachers, and other professionals by Martin L. Kutscher, MD

63) Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child by Edward M. Hallowell and Peter S. Jensen

64) The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

65) Temple Grandin DVD--Based on the true story of a girl with autism who goes on to earn her Masters and PhD

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lots More Common Core

Michelle Malkin has loads of posts on how rotten Common Core is.

Read about it at